A still timely oration: MLK, Jr. on the war in Vietnam
Here is a fragment from a powerful denunciation of American aggression that is still apt, unfortunately. It was delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, April 1967, at Manhattan's Riverside Church. It is best read after seeing the stunning interview-cum-documentary of Robert MacNamara, "The Fog of War." Or after reeling from the lies and spin still emanating from the White House to justify current aggressions and our government's strenuous efforts to keep democracy (in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Florida) from falling into the hands of the people.
In 1957 a sensitive American official overseas said that it seemed to him that our nation was on the wrong side of a world revolution. During the past ten years we have seen emerge a pattern of suppression which now has justified the presence of U.S. military "advisors" in Venezuela. The need to maintain social stability for our investments accounts for the counterrevolutionary action of American forces in Guatemala. It tells why American helicopters are being used against guerrillas in Colombia and why American napalm and green beret forces have already been active against rebels in Peru. With such activity in mind, the words of John F. Kennedy come back to haunt us. Five years ago he said, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." Increasingly, by choice or by accident, this is the role our nation has taken, by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investment.

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. When machines and computers, profit and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies.
Unfortunately, the work still lies before us. For a good start, see the entire speech, published on Thursday, January 15, 2004 by CommonDreams.org: Declaration of Independence from the War in Vietnam

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